How to find a Husband or a Wife
Lesson #1 The problem with Dating
(Study taken from the book “Dating or Courting” by Allen Jones)
In the introduction to this series we saw that the safe and better way to find a spouse would be through the process of courting rather than dating. But what about those who will ask, what is wrong with dating? Well for starters if you are not at a point in your life where you are seriously ready to get married then why would you be dating in the first place? By the definition of dating given in the introduction you would be just stirring up fleshly desires that you are not in a position to fulfill, not to mention all the emotional and financial stress that dating can lead to. The real problem with dating is our flesh and for a saved born again child of God this is usually the biggest problem we have. But in the matter of the opposite sex the problem of the flesh will be amplified greatly.
When dealing with young people today and even many adults they will argue that everyone dates, and it is just a natural process. The problem is that dating is a worldly process. In 1 John 2:15-17 we see what the word of God says about worldly ways and things. Note that the first thing in verse 16 that is said to be in the world and not of the father is lust of the flesh. There is that flesh problem and remember it is going to be your biggest problem when dating. Some might argue that marriage is of God and therefore it is natural for a man or woman to want their spouse, so therefore it is not worldly. It is true that in marriage a man desiring his wife or a woman desiring her husband is not worldly lust. This one of the reasons that God instituted marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Note that verse 1 says that it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Then it says, but to avoid fornication (which is sex outside of marriage) let every man have his own wife. You see the word of God knows what happens when a man and a woman touch and it understands the problems connected with the lust of the flesh. Now isn’t the purpose of dating to lead to some kind of physical contact whether it is holding hands, hugging, kissing, or as many hope today sex. Therefore by definition it is a worldly process and can lead us into trouble.
Why must we consider the flesh?
Not very many people today will argue that Paul was a great Christian and a very spiritual person. But if we look in Romans 7:15-25 we will see that Paul had as hard of a time with his flesh as you and I do. Note he said the things that he wanted to do he did not and the things that he did not want to do those things he did. Note he said that in his flesh was no good thing (verse 18). Therefore we are going to have to consider the flesh in everything we do but especially in the subject of how we go about finding a spouse.
Another reason that we have to consider the flesh is that the word of God says it is corrupt according to deceitful lust (Ephesians 4:22). Below we will list several ways by which the flesh is deceitful.
1) The flesh will figure out a way to get what it wants.
- Not a person reading this doesn’t understand how deceitful his or her own flesh when it comes to getting what it wants. Our flesh can always think of a way to get what it wants or to try to satisfy its desires.
- If a young man or a young woman is set on satisfying the desires of the flesh then they will find a way to do one way or another. This is why dating can have disastrous consequences.
2) The flesh says it will stop when it has had enough.
- We tell ourselves that we will only go so far but when the flesh is given an inch many times it will take a mile. How many times has our own flesh deceived you in this manner when it didn’t evolve dating? This is why handholding leads to hugging and hugging leads to kissing and kissing leads elsewhere.
3) The flesh will rationalize in order to justify itself.
- The flesh can always think of a way to justify itself. This is why dating is so dangerous. A young man will say that he loves a young lady and then tell her that if she loved him she would not resist. True love according to the word of God is being willing to die for her (Ephesians 5:25). A young person should be willing to wait until after marriage if they truly love someone even if it kills them, which it won’t.
How is the flesh connected with dating?
By now it should be pretty obvious that dating and the flesh are connected directly but if we look at Galatians 5:19-21 we see the works of the flesh listed in the word of God. Have you ever noticed that the first four works, adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness are connected with sexual sins? (Three of them are obvious for uncleanness see Leviticus 15)
Once again this is why the word of God said it is not good for a man to touch a woman. Note if it is not good for a man to touch a woman then it is going to be even worse when a teenage boy touches a teenage girl. Proverbs 6:27-28 give us an excellent illustration about taking fire in your bosom and not burning your clothes and the context there is adultery.
The problem with teenagers dating, kissing etc. is that they think they can control their flesh to the point of making it stop when they cannot even force their flesh to read their bibles everyday of the week. If we have trouble making our flesh do things that are right and pleasing in the sight of God then just think how much trouble we are going to have trying to stop it from doing wrong.
Therefore as we have plainly seen the real problem with dating is the flesh and we are told to flee from youthful lust (2 Timothy 2:22). So this study will advocate courting instead of dating and also only courting when a person is ready for marriage.
How to find a Husband or a Wife
Lesson #1 The problem with Dating : Handout
1) What is the main problem with Dating?
2) What is a good passage to read considering that dating is something that is pushed by the world upon young people today?
3) Why do we have to consider the flesh in regards to the subject of dating? What is a good passage for us to use to show that we must consider the flesh?
4) Where in the word of God does it says that our flesh is corrupt according to deceitful lust?
5) Why are the lusts of the flesh deceitful?
6) How is the flesh connected with dating and the lust that come from dating?
7) Give two verses that show us this example.
8) What would be a good solution given the above information for the problem with the flesh and dating?